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Summary: For biographer Michael Holroyd, playwright George Bernard Shaw is practically an alter ego. Using archival footage and Holroyd's painstaking detective work, this intriguing program questions the extent to which Shaw's life and art fed upon each other, addressing issues including the effects of the triangle between his father, his mother, and Vandeleur Lee on his plays, as seen in Misalliance...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Geared specifically to educators and produced by a working drama teacher, this program offers practical, hands-on guidance for creating an original high school musical. Viewers learn six essential components and ten key steps to writing and staging a production that entertains, engages, and boosts ticket sales! Designed for step-by-step viewing, the video is divided into two main...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: They gave their names to some of the most memorable plays in Western history, and, thousands of years later, they are still very much a presence in contemporary culture. Who were the women of classical Greek drama? In this program, the presentation of powerful women in Medea, Antigone, and Lysistrata is contrasted with the circumscribed role of women in Athenian society by Princeton...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Henrik Ibsen scrutinized and interpreted human hearts and minds in such a manner as to prompt Sigmund Freud to create a typology based on the dramatist's principal characters. Yet the evidence of Ibsen's life argues that he himself lived with a dual nature that went largely unreconciled. This program seeks to understand the man known as "The Sphinx" by tracing his travels, examining excerpts...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

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Summary: Second only to Shakespeare, Henrik Ibsen is the most-performed playwright in the world. This program, as much a tribute to the art of theater as to the immortal Ibsen, reveals a perennial fascination with Norway's master playwright. Excerpts from A Doll's House, Peer Gynt, and other productions captured on film in the United States, Canada, Britain, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Serbia, Iran,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

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Summary: Shakespeare's tale of love, betrayal, and retribution is perhaps best known for the tormented and implacable character of Shylock. This adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, directed by University of Cambridge visiting scholar Douglas Morse, focuses on Portia's story as well as the play's essential humor-aspects frequently given short shrift in other productions. Filmed in an intimate,...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: In 1925 Luigi Pirandello brought his troupe to England as part of a worldwide tour. This program re-creates one day in London as "The Einstein of the Theater" watches his plays and, away from the footlights, confronts the paradoxical nature of his life. Portions of Six Characters in Search of an Author; Henry IV; Right You Are, If You Think You Are; and The Rules of the Game are meticulously...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

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Summary: A documentary portrait of this bold theatrical innovator and his work. The program shows his roots and the theatrical and social background of his formative years, and analyzes the development of his vision of the theatre-episode in place of Aristotelian plot, the use of nonliterary devices, new techniques in character portrayal, and new aims for the very concept of theatre.

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: This documentary, filmed in a cinema verite style at the National Theatre Conservatory, follows eight student-actors through their first year of the master's degree program, an intensive daily regimen of voice, dance, elocution, and acting instruction. Initially uncomfortable with the strangeness of acting together and with some of the classes, such as trapeze work, the students begin to gel as...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: When Tim Supple directed the filming of Twelfth Night, he was a stickler for sticking to the words as the Bard penned them. Everything else, though, was up for grabs as he and screenwriter Andrew Bannerman shifted and intercut scenes and in general translated the play into the all-encompassing language of film. In this program, members of the cast and crew use snippets of the screenplay to...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: Viewed by many as the preeminent dramatist of our time, Nobel laureate Harold Pinter was also an accomplished actor, steeped in the relationship between text and performance. In this program, produced two years prior to his death, he advises a group of actors as they conduct staged readings of scenes from his plays. In addition, Pinter grants a candid and detailed interview, accompanied by his...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2009

View online at AVOD

Summary: This program, narrated by Ibsen biographer Michael Meyer, charts the development of Henrik Ibsen's style over four periods: his early years of failure; his epic dramas; his sociological plays, such as A Doll's House, Ghosts, and Rosmersholm; and his final plays, including Hedda Gabler, The Master Builder, and Little Eyolf, in which he dealt with the dark interior of the human soul. Televised...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2005

View online at AVOD

Summary: In this program, Andrea Lemon, Timothy Daly, Katherine Thomson, David Williamson, and other theater professionals describe what it was that prompted them to set pen to paper and write their first plays. They also explain how writing for the stage differs from other types of writing, give their opinions on the qualities needed to succeed as a dramatist, and offer advice on how to begin the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: Perhaps the toughest part of the course, the second year at the National Theatre Conservatory forces actors to cope with the demands of working on multiple projects. In this program, the eight students, now closer and more at ease with each other, must stage a production of The Merchant of Venice in addition to crafting solo Shakespeare performances. John Barton, founding member of the Royal...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: There are certain basic principles of dramatic writing that work, says Will Dunne. "I think it's important for writers to know what those basic principles are, that's where we get into the craft of writing. In this program, Dunne, Nick Enright, David Williamson, Katherine Thomson, and other theater professionals suggest approaches to doing research, creating dynamic characters, and composing...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: David Henry Hwang has experienced stereotyping firsthand. Today, he dedicates his work as a successful dramatist to dispelling those hackneyed portrayals of Asian-Americans that he encountered in his youth. In this program, ABC News correspondent John Yang interviews the Tony Award-winning playwright who brought M. Butterfly to Broadway and whose latest effort, a contemporary version of Rodgers...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: Comedy is the complement of tragedy, and tragedy is one of the oldest forms of ritual in the Western world. However, while tragedy is linked to the sacred, comedy is often linked to the profane and sometimes even the sacrilegious. This program explores comedy, from Aristophanes and Cicero to the Christian ban on humor. The Feast of Fools and Carnival as Christian institutions that celebrate the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2007

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Summary: How can a handful of words, scribbled on a napkin or a train schedule, grow into a timeless play? How does a storyteller create characters with lives and intentions of their own? Is writing a miraculous act, impossible to explain or describe, or is it 90 percent perspiration? In this program, a chorus of famous authors discuss creative strategies that lead to emotionally charged stories and...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: A contemporary interpretation of Jason's quest for the Golden Fleece, this beautifully crafted program scrutinizes what is colloquially referred to as the battle of the sexes. Production values convincingly re-create the world of the Bronze Age, but commentary from modern scholars evokes themes easily recognizable in the 21st century: Who holds the real power in male/female relationships? Why...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: What if an aspiring screenwriter could get just two minutes of face time with a major Hollywood exec to make a pitch? Welcome to Pitchmart. In this reality-based program, five people with five big ideas express their passions and frustrations as they spend a week with Ken Rotcop to polish their presentations-and then two precious minutes with the decision-makers who could transform their...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: While the pace of the third and final year of the master's program does not let up, the real-world necessities of an acting career begin to loom large. In this documentary, the eight students who comprise the class of 2000 culminate their training and prepare for the harsh realities of trying to make a living as actors. A key event is the showcase presentation each student performs before an...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: Rewrites and rehearsals are the final steps of crafting a play. But how does a playwright interest a theater company in the first place? In this program, Richard Wherret, Alana Valentine, Will Dunne, Ros Horin, and other theater professionals examine the process of rewriting and the role of the playwright in rehearsals-as well as how to sell a play in the drama marketplace. Common pitfalls of...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD

Summary: FADE IN: A stage, upon which sit award-winning playwright and screenwriter Mark St. Germain, two-time Emmy-nominated Freaks and Geeks creator and writer Paul Feig, actor and writer Bobby Garabedian, and producer Belen Santos. In two straight-talking forums, they advise today's flock of would-be screenwriters on what makes a character compelling, how plot points should be used in a three-act...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2003

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Summary: By its very definition, a play is a group project. This program, which features Nick Enright, Ros Horin, Timothy Daly, David Williamson, and other theater professionals, introduces some of the "significant others" of the drama profession: the actors, directors, dramaturges, composers, and designers who work with playwrights to polish their scripts and bring their stories to life. "Part of the...

Format: software, multimedia

Publisher / Publication Date: Films Media Group 2006

View online at AVOD